The stigma around mental health makes it harder to deal with

Since the age of 12 I have struggled with my mental health. I became anorexic between 12 and 14, and then I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at 17.

Despite days of feeling fine and genuinely happy with life and the world that’s out there, there is always that part of my head where my depression and anxiety make sure they have something to say.

I wish there was more education around BPD

Since about the age of 10 I’ve had depression and depressive episodes, I always knew there was something else to it, but only a few months ago I got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This was also the first time in my 23 years of living I had even heard of this disorder.

People hear the words “personality disorder” and presume the worst of the worst or don’t know how to react, this makes it extremely difficult for people like myself to open up, even to friends and family.

Depression is not an emotion - it's an illness

Ah, mental health stigma surrounding depression. The worst that's been said to me in the last 9 years of having depression is:

"Don't go and have a Helen moment on me!"

"Don't quit your job. I know your job has been making you feel depressed but you're being stupid. You haven't tried hard enough."

"Is that all your depressed about?"

"Stop being ungrateful and take your Great Aunt's advice!"

Please, stop.

'Self-stigma' is real and we need to talk about it

When I started taking antidepressants for the first time last year, I was scared of what people would think. Whilst I knew, rationally, that there is no shame in taking medication for a health condition, I was flinching away from the imagined reactions of those who knew me.

I told a select few. Partially because I was advised to, and as an advocate for mental health, it would have been hypocritical of me to stay quiet.

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